The tummy tuck procedure
The tummy tuck surgery procedure can be divided into three steps, what happens before, during and after a tummy tuck. On this page we go through the two first steps; what happens before and during a tummy tuck.
Consultations prior to tummy tuck surgery
The first thing you do when you have decided on undergoing tummy tuck surgery is to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. You can read more about how to choose the right one on the page about choosing your surgeron.
At your consultation, your surgeon will assess your general health, the extent of your fat deposits around the stomach area and carefully assess your skins condition.
Make sure you notify your surgeon if you smoke, use medication, supplements or other substances.
Be honest about your expectations to your plastic surgeon and demand the same honesty from your surgeon about his or her description of the limitations and risks involved with your abdominoplasty.
You can read more about this och the page about the cosmetic surgery consultation.
Preparations prior to a tummy tuck surgery
You will receive precise instructions about how to prepare prior to your tummy tuck. These include information about how you should eat and drink, smoking rules, taking vitamins, medication and other substances.
If you smoke, prepare yourself to withstand for at least 2-4 weeks before your tummy tuck, and do not count on starting again until at least two weeks after your plastic surgery.
Avoid sunbathing your stomach and do not begin a strict diet since both of these things can negatively influence the body’s capacity to heal.
To conclude it is vital that the body is in optimal shape prior to such a vast surgical procedure as a tummy tuck.
If you develop an infection or a cold just before your tummy tuck the surgery will most likely be postponed until the infection has past.
You should also as part of your preparations make sure someone picks you up after your surgery and can assist you for a few days afterwards.
You can read more on the page about preperations and restrictions before cosmetic surgery.
Surgical procedure for a tummy tuck surgery
When first arriving to the clinic on the day of surgery you will be checked in and assigned a patient room. You will then change to surgical clothing. Thereafter you will meet your plastic surgeon, and if it has not been done previously, photos will be taken from different angles, answer any questions and draw up the area of surgery.
Once the cosmetic surgeon is finished you will be given preparatory medication and rest in your bed. After a while you will be taken to the operating theatre by a nurse.
1. You receive your narcosis
The first thing that happens in the operating theatre is that you are sedated or given local anaesthesia. A full tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia. A mini tummy tuck is generally performed under general anaesthesia but can also be performed with a combination of local anaesthesia and sedative medication.
The procedure normally takes between one to three hours to perform.
2. The area is liposuctioned and the incisions are placed
The surgery often begins with liposuction of the area. Thereafter a long incision starting at the hip bone, down into the groin, across the stomach at the level of the genital hair to the groin on the other side and up towards the hip bone.
With a mini tummy tuck generally only an incision across the stomach is placed, but there are different methods which will be discussed with your plastic surgeon before the procedure.
3. The abdominal wall is tightened
Once the incision is placed the surgeon loosens the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs and then lifts the skin in order to uncover the vertical stomach muscles.
The muscles are stretched by being drawn close together and sewn into a new position. This creates a firmer abdominal wall and a slimmer waist.
With a mini tummy tuck only the skin up to the navel is loosened.
4. The navel is moved and excess skin removed
The loosened skin is stretched/pulled downwards and excess skin is removed. With a full tummy tuck a new hole for the navel is created which is then sewn into place. The subcutaneous fat is trimmed so that a dip is created around the navel and the lower part is trimmed to a good thickness.
Finally the incision is closed, a bandage is placed and in some cases a drainage tube is inserted under the skin in order to prevent and remove any blood and fluid accumulations in the surgical area. You are then moved to your patient room where you are monitored by a nurse until you awake and recuperate.
During a mini tummy tuck, only the skin around the navel and incision is loosened. The lower part of the abdominal musculature can be tightened if needed. The skin is then stretched/pulled downwards, the excess removed and the incision closed.